Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The problem with legalizing marijuana

Many people like to be really "live and let live" and respect people's choices about what they do in their own house.

So many of these types favour the legalization of marijuana.

The problem with legalization is that it doesn't just affect the individual who smokes dope.

In my neighbourhood, some people openly smoke marijuana on their stoop or in the street. Like they're taking a cigarette break. I've thought about calling the cops, but they're often finished doing their dope in five minutes anyway.(And I have a nagging feeling the cops wouldn't care that much anyway.)

And those are the ones that I can see. There are countless others sitting in their apartments with open windows who pollute my air to the point that in the summer I can't open my window at night because I will be forced to smell that crap. I have a right to fresh air. And so, granola pot-smoking enviro-nutters, I must turn my air conditioner to chase away the marijuana smell in my house.

This is the case when marijuana is illegal. What happens when it becomes legal?

Will people do dope at the entrances of malls and other buildings, the way they smoke cigarettes now?

It's clear that a large number of pot smokers don't respect the law. Why would they respect anti-pot restrictions in the future? People say "legalize it and tax the hell out of it."

You seriously think that pot-growers are going to pay tax on something they've always grown and sold themselves, tax-free?

And if it becomes legal, what of marketing? Do I want to see marijuana commercials on prime time television? Do I want corporations sending the message to my kids that smoking dope is acceptable and even desirable?

Do I want more people walking around stoned? Not really.

But hey, let's just legalize marijuana, and that consequences be damned! Like the only thing we'd have to consider is the autonomy issue.

I seriously couldn't care less if you get stoned (from a pragmatic point of view).

But it's not all about you, folks. When millions of people perform an act, it's not a private act any more. It has social (and environmental) consequences. Even if you do it in your basement from from the madding crowd.

Freedom cannot be based on anti-social behaviour. Getting stoned is anti-social.